Cancha: Andean Toasted Chulpe Corn

Cancha toasted chulpe corn recipe

​The Spruce / Diana Mocanu

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 15 mins
Total: 20 mins
Servings: 6 to 8 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
66 Calories
4g Fat
8g Carbs
1g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6 to 8
Amount per serving
Calories 66
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 4g 5%
Saturated Fat 0g 2%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 315mg 14%
Total Carbohydrate 8g 3%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Total Sugars 2g
Protein 1g
Vitamin C 2mg 10%
Calcium 1mg 0%
Iron 0mg 1%
Potassium 81mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This easy three-ingredient recipe for Peruvian cancha is a popular snack in the Andean countries, often served alongside ceviche or as a tableside snack at a restaurant. The word cancha translates as "toasted corn," and you'll find similar versions of this in other South American countries, including Ecuador.

Cancha can be described as a sort of popcorn, but it's made from a special variety of corn called maiz chulpe. The pointy dried kernels pop when heated, and will even jump right out of the skillet, but the inside of the kernels do not burst out and puff up like regular popcorn. Instead, cancha corn gets slightly puffy and toasted, like corn nuts, and it has a starchy taste that is quite addictive.

This Peruvian corn can be found online and in Latin food grocery stores. It's easy and quick to prepare. All you need is a little vegetable oil, some salt, and a skillet with a lid.


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • 2 cups cancha corn kernels

  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for cancha toasted chulpe corn

    ​The Spruce / Diana Mocanu 

  2. Heat the oil in a large, heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat.

    Oil heating in a cast iron skillet

    ​The Spruce / Diana Mocanu

  3. Add cancha corn kernels and heat, shaking the pan from time to time, until kernels start to pop.

    Add corn kernels to hot pan with oil

    ​The Spruce / Diana Mocanu

  4. Cover the pan loosely with a large lid so that the corn kernels don't fly out of the pan as they pop, and continue to cook, stirring frequently​ until the kernels have stopped popping and are deep golden brown, about 10 minutes.

    Cover the pan loosely for cancha

    ​The Spruce / Diana Mocanu

  5. Remove from heat and toss the toasted corn with salt. Serve warm or at room temperature.

    Remove cancha from heat

    ​The Spruce / Diana Mocanu

  6. Store cancha in an airtight container.

    Cancha close up in a skillet with wooden spatula

    ​The Spruce / Diana Mocanu


  • Cancha cooks best in a single layer in the pan. Otherwise, you might experience some burning. If you have one that's wide and flat, that's ideal. If not, just do like this recipe suggests—shake the pan and then make sure to stir so that nothing burns.


If you like, you can season this corn in other ways, similar to how you might think about seasoning popcorn but with a spicier, more savory twist.

Try sprinkling any of the following over the cancha after they're ready:

How to Store Cancha

Cancha is best eaten as soon as it's made, like popcorn, but you can store in an airtight container for up to two or three days. But it probably won't last that long once you taste it.

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